By Maxim Mower
Ahead of the release of his spellbinding new single, ‘Life/Love’, which is out today (10/27), Nolan Taylor spoke to Holler to discuss the creative process behind his latest song, his forthcoming appearance at Dreamy Draw Festival in Arizona, his dream collaborations and more.
With each release, Taylor has consolidated his position at the forefront of an exciting new wave of artists that are championing a sparser sound, which is often mirrored by a thematic rawness.
This is epitomised on tracks such as ‘Darkness’, which deftly and directly tackles suicidal thoughts, along with Nolan Taylor's heartbreaking account of his relationship with his mother, ‘68’.
‘Life/Love’ is the next stepping stone in Taylor's rising ascent in the industry, with the stripped-back song examining the aftermath of a break-up with a bittersweet fusion of regret and quiet optimism at the prospect of moving on.
The Ohio native shared with Holler how the new track came about, “The inspiration for ‘Life/Love’ comes from closing a long bitter chapter of a relationship, letting go of the hurt and allowing myself to be free from such stress, while genuinely wishing and hoping the absolute best for that person in all avenues of their life. I will always love them so deeply”.
With Nolan Taylor's fanbase expanding at an ever-quickening pace, you can't help but wonder whether it will become harder to maintain this level of intimacy and uphold the soul-baring nature of his songwriting as his platform grows.
So far, Nolan Taylor hasn't found his burgeoning fame an issue, “I would say it doesn’t make it harder to be so personal. The hardest part is knowing people relate to what I’m expressing, but I also think it’s very important to talk about the things I think and have lived, because it could help someone know that people do feel that way and that it’s more normal than they think. So let’s talk about it, dammit!”
Taylor then boils down the keystone of his immense popularity into a single, simple line: “I’ll be the bridge between people and things people feel uncomfortable talking about”.
Nolan Taylor's emergence reflects modern listeners’ inclination towards personal, introspective music as opposed to the levity that has traditionally defined the country charts, with the likes of Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers pioneering this new progression.
Taylor muses, “I believe the thirst [for this style of music] comes from the fact that people just want to relate to it. They want these raw, authentic and personal songs. For me, that’s always been my love for acoustic music. The realness always just pulled me through...Most of the time I was living it and felt like they were telling my story. Music has always made me feel less alone just by the words these artists are putting to paper”.
The singer-songwriter outlines, “There isn’t much more powerful than that, in my opinion. I want to feel, and these folks in this genre make me feel so much emotion”.
Inevitably, with each new single, the prospect of Nolan Taylor's debut full-length album becomes all the more tantalising, with fans clamouring for an official release date.
Taylor reassures them, “We definitely have plans of releasing music, we have some ideas brewing and some things in the works! I’m just really excited to get all these songs out to everyone”.
The influence of folk-leaning lyricism and earthier sounds on Nolan Taylor's music is evident from his ‘dream collaboration’ picks. He chooses Evan Stephens Hall, the lead singer of alt-rock band, Pinegrove, and Bon Iver's enigmatic conspirator, Justin Vernon - two acts that it's safe to say we'd have no objection to hearing duets with.
As enchanting as his studio recordings are, some would argue there's no better way to appreciate Nolan Taylor's craft than in-person at one of his now-renowned live shows.
The country-Americana prodigy is currently gearing up to perform at Arizona's inaugural Dreamy Draw Festival in Scottsdale, alongside the likes of Midland, Lord Huron, Margo Price and more.
He stresses his excitement at the chance to take the stage at this highly anticipated extravaganza, “I have never played in Arizona before! I’m so honoured to be a part of this line-up, and so excited get to play my first Arizona show with such a cool festival”.
Across November 3 and 4, Dreamy Draw Music Festival will bring together some of the finest talent across contemporary country, Americana and folk, with a refreshingly eclectic roster of performers that includes Luke Grimes, Hailey Whitters, Watchhouse, Breland, Trampled By Turtles, Stephen Wilson Jr. and American Aquarium.
When Nolan Taylor serenades the packed-out crowd on the second day of the festival, he'll undoubtedly add another slew of aficionados to his burgeoning fanbase, with the fast-emerging artist having now solidified his next-big-thing status with the release of ‘Life/Love’.
For more on Dreamy Draw Festival 2023, see below:
Featured photo by Laura Ord